Police launch operation to target rural crime in St Albans and Harpenden

A fly-tip leading to Heartwood Forest. Picture: Albert Callewaert

A fly-tip leading to Heartwood Forest. Picture: Albert Callewaert - Credit: Archant

An operation to crack down on rural crime in St Albans and Harpenden has been launched by police.

Operation Astare is an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) project to target hare coursing, criminal damage to fields and crops, fly-tipping, theft, and burglary in the district's countryside this summer.

Neighbourhood Sgt Paul Caro said: "We know that many criminals travel into our rural areas from outside of the county and then use key routes and some of the back roads that lead off them to make quick escapes.

"During this operation, we will be actively disrupting criminals coming into Harpenden and St Albans from other areas to commit rural crime."

Officers used a mobile ANPR kit to monitor the A1081 Luton Road and had a stopping point at the junction with The Common, Kinsbourne Green.

Sgt Caro added: "We hope this offers some reassurance to our rural communities."

Anyone who sees a crime in progress should call 999. To report it retrospectively, call 101.